Play as One, Win as One

The Varsity Girls’ Soccer team on teamwork, what defines a player, and their passion.

by Dani Martinez

Soccer is competitive. But more importantly, it’s selfless, it’s draining, and it’s demanding. Hours upon hours of practice are behind every single move. Every hit, every pass, every save and every goal in soccer is achieved through what one gives to the sport. A true team however, shines not though the talents of individual players but through the talent of the team as a whole. Trust, chemistry, and drive are what compile a truly great soccer team. Lucky for the girls this year, they’ve managed to score it all.

It is no question that great teams are hard to come by. Sure, everyone has the potential to be good, maybe even great, players. The real magic in the sport happens when good players come together to form one united strong front.

“This year’s team is so much closer than previous years. We all get along and play as a team rather than individuals,” senior Becca Kholos said.

It is not enough to have a group of talented players. Because if a team can’t combine all their different strengths, talents and abilities into a coherent whole, they’re not going to be successful.

“Our team chemistry is way better and as a team there is a stronger work ethic. We all play very well as one unit because most of us play outside of high school soccer together,” junior Sierra Smith said.

A common theme and the motto for this year’s squad is the simple phrase,“One.” It embodies everything they want to achieve. It says everything they want to be as a team. It sets them far ahead from everyone else, seeing the big picture of harmony rather than having a team full of people constantly competing to be the best.

“We don’t have a team of superstars but together we are one,” Kholos said.

It is this motto that sets the tone not only for the team out competing on the field, but the team in all senses. Not only as teammates, but as friends.

“We aren’t only teammates, we are friends. I love how even when we don’t have to be together we still make an effort to hang out and have a lot of team bonding. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging towards each other. We help each other get better,” junior Izzy Lamanna said.

Looking at the bigger picture is much easier said than done. Working together with a group of strong people poses many different challenges. But in being selfless, the team has learned that together, they can go much further than they ever could alone.

“Anyone on my team would be willing to do anything to benefit the team and that no matter what I can always count on my teammates to give it their all,” Smith said.  

But a cohesive whole can never be complete without the sum of all its parts, all of its players. For these girls, it takes years of not only physical strength, but mental power to create an athlete. For the players, it takes everything to mold yourself into the definition of great.

“Passion, drive, resilience, hard work, and motivation,” Kholos named as the makings, the ingredients that turn a player into an athlete.

The true differences in players lies in their character and their ethic much more than their talent itself. It’s either going all in, or going home.

“A good soccer player could be defined as hardworking, mentally strong, dedicated, and coachable, a person who gives 110% and isn’t scared to make a mistake in order to grow,” Lamanna said.

The sport toughens and shapes good players into great athletes. It translates into everything these girls hope to achieve in life. The lessons that are learned on the field pertain to life, even when there isn’t a ball in between their feet and a jersey on their backs.

Soccer has made me think about my life decisions in a way where I’m not only thinking about myself but also those around me and how what seems to be a simple decision can impact my life long term. Respect, determination, leadership and communication: the skills learned while playing the sport of soccer go hand in hand with almost every other aspect of life,” Smith said.

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